In Her Body and Other Parties (Graywolf Press, 2017), Carmen Maria Machado explores the bodies, demons, and desires of twenty-first century women.
“I think open endings require a little more work of the reader; that, when a scene or story is left open, the reader gets to imagine for him/herself how things might’ve turned out.”
“Music has a way cutting right through to the bone of the thing, shining a light on all that holy marrow. What it does so well is what I’d like my writing to do: express a feeling or drip a tone, even if it is surreal or doesn’t make logical sense.”
“I’ve always been interested in death and destruction — call it an early diet of horror fiction. But over the years I’ve become more aware of decay, the slow and steady side of impermanence. Decay doesn’t make for flashy conflict, but in some ways it’s more interesting.”
“Humor helps the heart to open. And heartfelt laughter leads us towards greater connection with those around us. If you can find a way to share humor with others, then there’s an openness towards greater listening and compassion. With the serious topics I write about […] there’s a way such stories can calcify the heart if one isn’t careful. I noticed this in my teaching—if I’m just giving my students the disturbing facts about humanity without humor, it can lead to depression, discouragement, and a deeper political/social apathy. So, humor seems to restore our humanity to us—it allows us to deal with suffering with a more open heart.”